This group recently completed the development of a new secure datalink layer for BACnet, BACnet/SC (defined in Addendum bj), that is built upon WebSockets and TLS. Future projects will include the development of new BACnet functionality that will complement BACnet/SC, such as enhancements to the Network Port Object.
Since the design of BACnet began in 1987, much has changed in the world of computers, networking technology, and building automation systems. BACnet has been sufficiently flexible to handle many of these changes, but more changes are coming that may further challenge BACnet’s architecture. Here are some of the changes that could affect the requirements for building automation systems:
- The trend toward convergence of IT and building automation
- Network security policies and standards
- The increasing use of battery-powered and wireless networked devices
- “Smart Grid” applications that involve building automation systems
The BACnet IT working group’s primary task will be to enumerate the general communication requirements of building automation systems that will be deployed over the next several years and evaluate BACnet against those requirements. To the extent that BACnet does not meet those requirements, the working group will discuss, at a high level, how BACnet could be modified or redesigned in order to better meet those requirements. Based on the outcome of those discussions, the working group members might initiate projects to investigate various design options.